Category Archives: Racism

Funds eliminated for Life After Hate program

The wife of a Trump official with ties to Nazi groups has cut funding to one of the few programs meant to rehab home-grown terrorists.

File under: you can’t make this shit up.

Trump official Seb Gorka in one of his many media appearances where he dismissed the notion of “lone wolf” terrorists — one person acting alone — taking matters into their own hands without direct supervision.

Some of the Unite The Right Nazis are “fine people”

At least that’s what Trump said today in a press conference where he reverted to what we must now accept he is: a Nazi sympathizer. That’s not hyperbole. What other conclusion can be drawn from his bizarre behavior today?

Watch this shocking, frightening video and make up your own mind whether the Nazi marchers are “fine people.”

All of this Nazi marching takes on a more sinister tone if you realize, as much as you might not have wanted to believe it before, that an office that once represented as the leader of the free world because of World War II is now held by a guy who, in effect, smears the memories of all who died in World War II.

Nazis march in American streets in 2017.

Glenn Greenwald fears the CIA more than Trump

Glenn Greenwald

Civil libertarian attorney Glenn Greenwald was on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and had this to say about Trump and the Deep State — the national security machinery of the U.S. that is now purported to be gunning for Trump:

[Trump and his followers] want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them. And there are lots of really great ways to resist them, such as getting courts to restrain them, citizen activism and, most important of all, having the Democratic Party engage in self-critique to ask itself how it can be a more effective political force in the United States after it has collapsed on all levels. That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many, not just neocons, but the neocons’ allies in the Democratic Party, are now urging and cheering. And it’s incredibly warped and dangerous to watch them do that.

Greenwald is like so many misguided liberals, Jill Stein and people like her, who are totally insulated from the danger that Trump poses to everyday people in this country, including:

  • LGBT people whose civil liberties are at risk.
  • The rights of women to choose the when and why of whether they should have children.
  • Law-abiding, tax-paying immigrants who are in danger of being deported.
  • The sick and the elderly who depend on the government to keep them alive.

I’m not fond of the Deep State and many of the things it does. But if they are what it takes to get Steve Bannon, a leading figure of the extreme right, away from the levers of power and the codes which launch nuclear weapons, then so be it.

It’s clear we cannot expect our elected officials to do the right thing.

Besides, it won’t be the CIA and NSA staging a coup, as Greenwald suggests. It will be the CIA and NSA exposing Trump and the incompetence and dangers of his presidency, thereby shaming the GOP into doing their jobs and getting rid of him. (Or, if you believe some pundits, providing political cover for the GOP to get rid of Trump so his followers don’t come after those Republicans in the next election.)

Greenwald and Stein and their kind are so far removed from the very real repercussions of a Trump presidency, they can afford to sit back and debate as if the rest of us have the luxury of waiting for the perfect in favor of the good. 

Crazy right-winger from Michael’s cries hurt feelings

For people who can scream racist shit at the top of their lungs in public, these crazies sure have delicate feelings.

This is the Chicago nutball who lost her shit at the checkout in the Michael’s craft store in Chicago, talking to NBC5:

The video, seen more than 4.5 million times, shows Boyle yelling repeatedly at a black employee at a Lakeview store and telling one employee to “shut your face.”

Boyle says an employee discriminated against her and mumbled that she must have voted for Donald Trump, but the employee is heard in the video denying that assertion. 

“And I voted for Trump, so there,” she said in the footage. “What? You want to kick me out because of that? And look who won. Look who won.” 

Now, at the start of 2017, Boyle said she regrets not leaving the store and ending the situation before her viral tirade. 

“Looking at it now, I think that would have been the right thing to do,” she said. “I really believe that it was fight or flight kicked in and I felt that I needed to defend myself.” 

Fight or flight?

Who knew arts and crafts stores could be so dangerous?

Also, she lives in Lakeview? 

For those of you who don’t know, this area is also called Boystown. I’m sure that a few gay men have thrown some shade her way. 

Good. She deserves at least that.

Blue Lives Matter, mostly when those blue lives are white people

A retired NY corrections officer who is simply shopping for groceries in a supermarket is mistaken by a posse of white officers for another black man who was suspected of shoplifting:

A retired Nassau County corrections officer claims he was beaten by officers in a case of mistaken identity.

Ronald Lanier said he was shopping in the Western Beef Supermarket in Mineola on Nov. 30 when he was tackled, handcuffed and beaten by officers with the Garden City Police Department.

“I’ve never been cursed, physically abused, beaten and treated like a slave as I was two days ago,” Lanier said, breaking down as he described how he landed in handcuffs and in a hospital. “For somebody to grab me by the neck in the supermarket, and I’m telling you, ‘I’m one of you,’ and you disrespect it — it was like you’re just another black dude.”

“They cursed at him, they abused him verbally, they then start to beat him,” his attorney, Fred Brewington, told 1010 WINS. “He was taking blows with his hands cuffed behind him as he laid face down.”

[snip]

“I’m tired of hearing officers constantly talking about we have to retrain. We don’t have to retrain, we got to let them be held accountable for their actions,” Lanier said. “Imagine if I had my gun at that time. It could have went either way.”

“We are hoping Garden City Police Department will come forward with respect, identifying their officers, disciplining their officers,” said Dennis Jones, with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

The Garden City Police Department declined to share its side of the story with CBS2, but provided context, saying they were chasing a fleeing shoplifting suspect who abandoned a getaway car on the railroad tracks and fled into the supermarket, Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Brewington said his client spent 20 minutes inside a squad car before he was let go without receiving an apology.

“The sergeant, without any apology or any other way of making it clear that they were acknowledging the mistake that they had made, just said cut him loose,” Brewington said.

You can read the rest here.

I have no issues with highlighting the fact that blue lives matter. Cops have a tough and dangerous job and at times their motives are questioned afterward in situations where they reasonably thought they were in mortal danger.

But acknowledging that truth demands that we acknowledge another reality: many cops are racist and arrest, beat and kill black men not because they think their lives are in danger — this was a shoplifting suspect they were allegedly pursuing this time — but rather because the culture of law enforcement is rife with racism.

Photo: Newsday. Ronald Lanier gives a tearful press conference regarding his being beaten by a gang of white officers.
Photo: Newsday. Ronald Lanier gives a tearful press conference regarding his being beaten by a gang of white officers.

 

Study shows pattern of racial discrimination by Uber/Lyft drivers 

Sad, but not surprising:

A new study shows that the promise of transportation network companies, or ride-sharing firms, getting beyond the discrimination of the past is not being fulfilled, as field-study data shows that African Americans wait longer to get rides and suffer more ride cancellations once drivers determine they’re black.

The new study – “Racial and Gender Discrimination in Transportation Network Companies,” by researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford University and the University of Washington – relied on more than 1,400 individual cases of research assistants ordering, waiting and taking actual rides in Seattle and Boston with transportation network companies (TNCs), primarily with Uber and Lyft. The controlled field experiments randomly selected times, days, routes and riders, some of whom were black, some white, and monitored various performance metrics at each stage of every trip.

In Seattle, one experiment found consistently longer waiting times for African American passengers—as much as a 35 percent increase.

In Boston, a separate experiment that captured a wider variety of performance metrics found more frequent cancellations against passengers when they used African American-sounding names. Across all trips, the cancellation rate for passengers using African American sounding names was more than twice as frequent compared to when the same passengers used white sounding names.

I have noticed that many of my African-American passengers do not put their pictures on their profiles, and I assume this is part of the reason why. (Although many women in general do not use pictures either.)

Source: New study shows a pattern of racial discrimination by drivers using the Uber and Lyft ride-sourcing

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In wake of election, Asian law partner reveals troubling incident

Lee-Bill

A local Mass. hockey parent confronts a Big Law partner who happens to be Asian.

At a gas station. Over a car.

In Wellesley for chrissakes:

“Where does a guy like you get a car like that?” the man said to Lee, looking at the litigator’s vehicle.

Lee, whose parents came to this country from China in 1948, tried to defuse the situation. “From Herb Chambers,” he said, referring to a local car dealer.

“Why don’t you go back to your own country,” the man said, according to Lee.

“I don’t understand you,” Lee said.

“You mean, you don’t understand English,” the man said.

“I don’t understand ignorance,” Lee replied.

The Wilmer partner drove away, but the man followed in his car. When Lee pulled into a nearby police station, the man vanished.

“In the bluest of Blue States, Massachusetts, a mile from Wellesley College, if someone tells you to go back to your own country, this can happen anywhere,” Lee said. “If this can happen to the managing partner of an Am Law 200 firm, what’s happening to the rest of the country?”

Lee said he hadn’t heard a comment like this for 40 years. He attributes the encounter to the political environment that has encouraged hostility to immigrants. “He felt he could say it,” Lee said.

These are scary fucking times we live in.

And to all my friends and relatives who voted for Trump: This is what you helped to unleash. Do you feel at all bad that you aligned yourself with guys like this? People who confront Asians at a gas pump merely over the fact that they are driving a nice car?

And now the Trumpster is going to break all of his promises and fuck all of you little guys over who voted for him.

If there weren’t so many good people who are going to get shafted along with you, I’d laugh in your face the next time I see you.

Man, Trump really saw you guys comin’ and you took the bait, gobbled it down and asked for more, pretty please?

Suckers!

 

Are white supremacists getting jobs in law enforcement?

One redacted page from a 2006 report on white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.
One redacted page from a 2006 report on white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement.

As far back as 2006 (and before) federal officials have been warning of efforts by white supremacists to infiltrate law enforcement, either through having their followers apply for jobs or by recruiting among the ranks of those who are already in the field — from cops at the street level, to sworn law enforcement jobs in the U.S. government.

One of the key issues highlighted in the report is the possibility that a person who secretly shared views with white supremacists or any number of right-wing homegrown U.S. domestic terrorist groups might someday infiltrate into a position where they are called upon to protect, for example, a federal elected official. 

Say, perhaps, the country’s first black or woman president or their families?

Or perhap a white supremacist on the inside could keep right-wing terrorist groups informed of efforts by law enforcement to keep tabs on them.

If it was considered enough of a problem back then, it’s likely safe to assume that it’s only gotten worse considering both the meteoric rise of right-wing hate groups in the U.S., and the emboldenment their followers must feel with the rise of Donald Trump.

After all, the largest police organization in the country just endorsed Trump. the most blatant racist to run for president since George Wallace. 

Just imagine that one day in the not-too-distant past this all would have been fantastical thinking out of a thriller novel. 

In the 1960's the Klan had infiltrated law enforcement so heavily that federal officials often had to step in to enforce civil rights laws since local police were so filled with KKK rot on the inside.
In the 1960’s the Klan had infiltrated law enforcement so heavily that federal officials often had to step in to enforce civil rights laws since local police were so filled with KKK rot on the inside.

 

Court: black men running away from police is understandable reaction

 

A sign held by a protester against police violence.
A sign held by a protester against police violence.

Many black men run from police. Does that mean police can use that as automatic evidence of guilt? Not necessarily, a highly respected state supreme court has ruled in a ground-breaking decision.

It should be emphasized that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court — a body so respected for so long that its rulings are watched by legal observers the world over — has NOT ruled that police cannot, under any circumstances, see a suspect running away from an attempted stop as evidence that something might be awry with the person or persons being stopped.

But it did say that the act of running away by black men might be indicative of something else entirely than a presumption of guilt. It might be, as respected studies (including ones cited by the court) have found, that black men have experienced systemic racism at the hands of police their entire lives and might be reacting to that and not their own perception of their guilt or innocence. They could just be afraid for their lives.

The ruling said:

“We do not eliminate flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion analysis whenever a black male is the subject of an investigatory stop. However, in such circumstances, flight is not necessarily probative of a suspect’s state of mind or sjccourtquoteconsciousness of guilt. Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for FIO
[Field Interrogation and Observation] encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt. Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity. Given this reality for black males in the city of Boston, a judge should, in appropriate cases, consider the report’s findings in weighing flight as a factor in the reasonable suspicion calculus.”

Judging from the comments I am seeing, a lot of white people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around this. 

That makes sense. After all, as a white guy, when police stop me I have a presumption of innocence and can be fairly assured (though not always) that the police will treat me with respect and allow me to go on my way if I did nothing seriously wrong.

Just keep my mouth shut, have my hands where police can see them, kiss enough police ass for them to know I have elevated their control over mine, and I will soon be on my way with either a ticket or the acknowledgment that they have the wrong guy because most cops can tell white people apart from one another.

But that is just not true if you are black man in 2016 America, and you cannot argue otherwise and be considered a serious person because the evidence for widespread police racism — even among other black and Latino officers — is so overwhelming.

And when another dashcam or body armor video surfaces tomorrow or next week, just as they have so many times before, I will be just like most of you out there. I will wince and catch my breath when the black man being stopped gets out of his car and starts walking around or tries to run away, because I know this might not end well.

But seeing a black man do these things on video is not the same as him being guilty.

Perhaps he was trying to get out into the open where cameras could catch the arrest, knowing full well that bad cops away from cameras are capable of many very bad things if they think they can get away with them.

Perhaps he thought, quite reasonably in 2016 in the same heat of the moment cops use so often to justify otherwise unjustified behavior: there is a real chance these guys will shoot me, and I might as well run because they might kill me here, or kill me in a police van, or kill me back at the station. At the very least there is a good chance they will beat the shit ouf of me and keep me in jail on trumped up charges a white person would never see. So I’m gonna run. 

In the police vs. public calculus of proper behavior during an unjustified stop, the odds are heavily against police doing me, a white guy, any harm if I just swallow my sense of right and wrong and do what they say. 

I don’t run. I don’t get out of my car and walk around. And I cooperate.

But doing those same things have meant the unjustified death of too many people of color. 

What would I do in their place? It’s hard to say. I’ve always been white. But I’d bet I’d react much differently with good reason if I were a black man. And the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is simply acknowledging that reality.

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Trump driving traffic to neo Nazi sites

You knew this had to happen.

Politico has the details.

White Supremacists jefferly.com trump bump politico